Carter's Boots

Bozeman, Montana

 When Garrett Carter was one year old, his father Jeff, moved his boot repair business into a storefront on the 200 block of East Main Street.

“I literally grew up in this building,” said Garrett, now 23, as he deftly laid stitching across a rip in a pair of shoes. “I sat at this exact sewing machine and tried stitching things of my own creation.” On the other side of the shop, his father was trimming the edges of a new sole on an old cowboy boot.

Carter’s Boots and Repair has become a fixture in downtown Bozeman, beckoning dyed-in-the-wool ranch hands and tourists alike. “I hear all summer people come in, they're like, oh gosh, we used to have a little shoe repair shop in our town and the old guy died and they just closed it,” said Jeff.

Nearing the end of his career, Jeff has had to wrestle with potentially closing his business as well. This year, Carter’s will have to leave its building downtown. Jeff consulted his son, who has been a full-time employee for three years, on the future of the business. “He made a decision,” said Jeff proudly. “He said, ‘Yep, I think this is what I want to do.’”

The Carter’s plan to move into a shop on Huffine Lane, with twice as much space as their current location. Garrett is eager for the challenges of moving and one day taking over the company. “There’s always a learning curve on any project you’re doing,” he said. “We’re both still learning.”